FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The Fort Worth ISD Board of Education and City Council will each consider resolutions at their meetings Tuesday, January 28 advocating for community dialogue on the health risks of vaping and an end to tobacco and nicotine use among youth.
Approval of the resolution will make the FWISD one of the largest school districts in the nation to pass such a decree, according to officials with the American Heart Association.
The resolution’s consideration is the same week two community discussions are being hosted about the electronic-cigarette and vaping epidemic and its impact on teens. In an effort to turn the tide locally, the Fort Worth ISD and its Council of PTAs is partnering with the American Heart Association, Fort Worth SPARC and State Rep. Nicole Collier (D-Fort Worth) to host the community discussions about this epidemic and its impact on youth.
Medical professionals, state officials and students are among panelists slated to discuss vaping effects, how to detect e-cigarette devices and usage and talk about the epidemic with teens, at the two anti-vaping events.
An e-cigarette is a battery powered device that delivers nicotine and flavorings to its user in the form of aerosol. Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling the aerosol. Studies show that vaping impacts teenage brain development and causes serious respiratory illnesses that could lead to death.
More than 5 million students in the United States are using electronic cigarettes and vaping, according to the recent survey conducted by the Food and Drug Administration. Studies show that more than 1-in-4 high school students have used e-cigarettes.
Within recent years, the e-cigarette usage among teens has doubled, leading to a nationwide epidemic. E-cigarette usage and vaping in the last couple years was linked to multiple deaths and hospitalizations resulting from serious respiratory, heart and cancer-related illnesses.
“English and history, we’ve got to do that well. But there’s also a piece of nutrition that we physicians and we city leaders are very interested in because we want our kids to have long, healthy lives,” said Fort Worth City Councilman Dr. Brian Byrd.
A Fort Worth high school student said a little education about vaping may go a long way.
“Be like real about it, like this can kill you. You know, we’re high schoolers – we need to know this. And they need to start this off in like elementary,” said Raven McKeever.